Softball team wins conference title, falls to Zimmerman in playoffs

by Ashley Hertwig
May 18 found the Irish battling for the conference championship title against the Eden Valley-Watkins Eagles.
Brooke Decker was up to bat first and was walked. While Chelsea Rachel was up to bat, Decker stole second, and then scored off Rachel’s double. Next, Ashley Gries hit a double that allowed Rachel to score. Gries was also able to reach home plate before the end of the inning, giving the Irish an early 3-0 lead.
After the Eagles went three-up and three-down in the top of the second, the Irish were up to bat again. Decker was first to get on base due to an error by the Eagles, then a double by Rachel sent Decker home. 
The bottom of the third began with Chelsey Wurm getting on base after being hit by the pitch.  Hilary Hogan batted next, hitting a single, followed by Ashlee Blizil getting walked. Decker reached first base after being walked which also allowed Wurm to reach home base. Then Hogan scored off a passed ball, and a double by Brittany Negley sent both Blizil and Decker home. Gries batted next, hitting a single and scoring Negley. The inning ended shortly after with the Irish expanding their lead 9-0 over the Eagles.
With the Eagles still unable to score in the top of the fourth, the Irish were back up to bat. Wurm stepped up to the plate, only to be walked by Eden Valley’s pitcher.  After advancing around the bases off passed balls, Wurm scored the 10th run of the game.
The top of the fifth still left the Eagles without any runs and the game ended with a final score of 10-0.
AB R H RBI
B. Decker       1     3     -       1
C. Rachel       4     1     2     2
B. Negley       3     1     1     2
A. Gries           3     1     2     2
A. Redemske   2     -     1     -
S. Knudsen     3     -       1     -
C. Wurm         -     2     -     -
H. Hogan       1     1     1     -
A. Blizil         2     1       -     -
J. Waste           -     -       -     -
Irish vs. EVW-game 2
After an easy win in the first game, the Irish were hoping to repeat during the second game of their double-header against Eden Valley-Watkins.
Decker led off with a single, followed by Rachel who was walked. Negley then hit a single which allowed Decker to score.  Both Rachel and Negley were also able to score before the end of the inning, making the score 3-0.
The top of the second began with a single by Jamie Waste, followed by another single, hit by Rachel. Gries was up to bat next, but was walked and Redemske reached first base due to an Eagle error. A double by Knudsen sent Rachel home, and Gries was able to score off a single hit by Hogan.  Redemske, Knudsen, and Hogan were all able to reach home base before the end of the inning, bringing the Irish up 8-0.
The Eagles began the bottom of the second with a homerun, then they were able to score another run before the third out, making the score 8-2.
The Irish weren’t able to score any runs in the top of the third, however, the Eagles snuck in four runs, closing the gap in the score 8-6.  
After the fourth and fifth innings the score was tied 8-8, but the Irish took the lead back in the top of the sixth inning. Gries batted first, hitting a single. Up next was Redemske who bunted and made it to first base. Knudsen was up to bat next and hit a double, followed by Hogan who also bunted and made it to first base.  All four players were able to score before the third out, giving the Irish the lead 12-8.
During the seventh inning, the Eagles were only able to score two runs, which was not enough to take the lead or tie, so the Irish took the win 12-10, and their fifth straight conference championship.
“The second game was way too close.  We shouldn’t have let them score so many runs when we beat them 10-0 the first game,” said Negley. “We still won, though, and kept the conference champion’s streak,” she continued.
         AB R H RBI
B. Decker       5     1       2     -
C. Rachel       3     2     3     1
B. Negley       4     1     1     1
A. Gries           4     1     1     -
S. Rachel         1     -       -       -
A. Redemske   5     2     2     -
S. Knudsen     4     2     2     2
H. Hogan         4     2     2     1
A. Blizil         3     -   -       -
C. Couette       1     -     -     -
J. Waste           4     -     2     -
C. Wurm         -     -       -     -
Irish vs. Zimmerman
Friday, May 21, brought Zimmerman to Maple Lake for the first playoff game of the season.
“We knew they had a good pitcher that was recovering from an injury, so we hoped we would be able to get some hits off her,” said Alyssa Redemske.
The game looked to be easy with Zimmerman going three-up and three-down in the top of the first. When the Irish were up to bat, they scored two runs right away. Decker led off with a single, followed by another single by Rachel. A single hit by Negley allowed both Decker and Rachel to score, giving the Irish an early lead.
The second inning went three-up and three-down for both teams and in the top of the third, Zimmerman took the lead.  Zimmerman was able to get many players on base, and scored four runs, making it 2-4 after the third inning.
The fourth, fifth, and sixth innings went by quickly, as the intensity of the game grew for the Irish who knew they had one last chance to pass up Zimmerman’s 5-2 lead after they scored a run in the top of the seventh. The Irish, however, were not able to score any runs in the seventh inning, ending the game and the 2010 season.
“It was really sad to see the season end so soon, especially because it was the last game of my high school career and we all really wanted to go to Mankato for state again this year,” said senior captain Rachel. “Of course, I’m also going to miss my teammates and the wonderful coaches, too.”
 Over the past three years, the Irish have an 83-3 record in the Central Minnesota Conference. In recognition of that conference success, a large contingent of Irish players received the following honors: 1st team All-Conference–Ashley Gries, Brittany Negley, Brooke Decker, Chelsea Rachel; 2nd team All-Conference: Ashlee Blizil, Sydney Knudsen, Hilary Hogan, Alyssa Redemske.
AB R H RBI
B. Decker       3     1     1     -
C. Rachel         2     1       2     -
B. Negley       3     -       1     2
A. Gries           2     -       -     -
A. Redemske   3     -       -     -
S. Knudsen     3     -       -     -
C. Wurm         2     -     -     -
S. Rachel         1     -       -     -
H. Hogan       3     -       -     -
A. Blizil         2     -       -     -
J. Waste           -     -       -     -
May 18 found the Irish battling for the conference championship title against the Eden Valley-Watkins Eagles.
Brooke Decker was up to bat first and was walked. While Chelsea Rachel was up to bat, Decker stole second, and then scored off Rachel’s double. Next, Ashley Gries hit a double that allowed Rachel to score. Gries was also able to reach home plate before the end of the inning, giving the Irish an early 3-0 lead.
After the Eagles went three-up and three-down in the top of the second, the Irish were up to bat again. Decker was first to get on base due to an error by the Eagles, then a double by Rachel sent Decker home. 
The bottom of the third began with Chelsey Wurm getting on base after being hit by the pitch.  Hilary Hogan batted next, hitting a single, followed by Ashlee Blizil getting walked. Decker reached first base after being walked which also allowed Wurm to reach home base. Then Hogan scored off a passed ball, and a double by Brittany Negley sent both Blizil and Decker home. Gries batted next, hitting a single and scoring Negley. The inning ended shortly after with the Irish expanding their lead 9-0 over the Eagles.
With the Eagles still unable to score in the top of the fourth, the Irish were back up to bat. Wurm stepped up to the plate, only to be walked by Eden Valley’s pitcher.  After advancing around the bases off passed balls, Wurm scored the 10th run of the game.
The top of the fifth still left the Eagles without any runs and the game ended with a final score of 10-0.
Stats in this week's issue of the Messenger.
Irish vs. EVW-game 2
After an easy win in the first game, the Irish were hoping to repeat during the second game of their double-header against Eden Valley-Watkins.
Decker led off with a single, followed by Rachel who was walked. Negley then hit a single which allowed Decker to score.  Both Rachel and Negley were also able to score before the end of the inning, making the score 3-0.
The top of the second began with a single by Jamie Waste, followed by another single, hit by Rachel. Gries was up to bat next, but was walked and Redemske reached first base due to an Eagle error. A double by Knudsen sent Rachel home, and Gries was able to score off a single hit by Hogan.  Redemske, Knudsen, and Hogan were all able to reach home base before the end of the inning, bringing the Irish up 8-0.
The Eagles began the bottom of the second with a homerun, then they were able to score another run before the third out, making the score 8-2.
The Irish weren’t able to score any runs in the top of the third, however, the Eagles snuck in four runs, closing the gap in the score 8-6.  
After the fourth and fifth innings the score was tied 8-8, but the Irish took the lead back in the top of the sixth inning. Gries batted first, hitting a single. Up next was Redemske who bunted and made it to first base. Knudsen was up to bat next and hit a double, followed by Hogan who also bunted and made it to first base.  All four players were able to score before the third out, giving the Irish the lead 12-8.
During the seventh inning, the Eagles were only able to score two runs, which was not enough to take the lead or tie, so the Irish took the win 12-10, and their fifth straight conference championship.
“The second game was way too close.  We shouldn’t have let them score so many runs when we beat them 10-0 the first game,” said Negley. “We still won, though, and kept the conference champion’s streak,” she continued.
Stats in this week's issue of the Messenger.
Irish vs. Zimmerman
Friday, May 21, brought Zimmerman to Maple Lake for the first playoff game of the season.
“We knew they had a good pitcher that was recovering from an injury, so we hoped we would be able to get some hits off her,” said Alyssa Redemske.
The game looked to be easy with Zimmerman going three-up and three-down in the top of the first. When the Irish were up to bat, they scored two runs right away. Decker led off with a single, followed by another single by Rachel. A single hit by Negley allowed both Decker and Rachel to score, giving the Irish an early lead.
The second inning went three-up and three-down for both teams and in the top of the third, Zimmerman took the lead.  Zimmerman was able to get many players on base, and scored four runs, making it 2-4 after the third inning.
The fourth, fifth, and sixth innings went by quickly, as the intensity of the game grew for the Irish who knew they had one last chance to pass up Zimmerman’s 5-2 lead after they scored a run in the top of the seventh. The Irish, however, were not able to score any runs in the seventh inning, ending the game and the 2010 season.
“It was really sad to see the season end so soon, especially because it was the last game of my high school career and we all really wanted to go to Mankato for state again this year,” said senior captain Rachel. “Of course, I’m also going to miss my teammates and the wonderful coaches, too.”
 Over the past three years, the Irish have an 83-3 record in the Central Minnesota Conference. In recognition of that conference success, a large contingent of Irish players received the following honors: 1st team All-Conference–Ashley Gries, Brittany Negley, Brooke Decker, Chelsea Rachel; 2nd team All-Conference: Ashlee Blizil, Sydney Knudsen, Hilary Hogan, Alyssa Redemske.
Stats in this week's issue of the Messenger.
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